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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Steve Wynn buys 1 million shares of his company's stock

9 December 2015

Wynn Resorts Ltd. said Tuesday that Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn spent roughly $63.8 million to acquire more than 1 million shares of his company's stock on the open market.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said Wynn, 73, bought 1,003,977 shares on the Nasdaq open market between Friday and Tuesday at prices that ranged from $62.41 per share to $64.44 per share.

Wynn Resorts said the company's founder, who was already its largest stockholder, now controls directly and indirectly 11.07 million shares. Wynn Resorts operates hotel-casinos on the Strip and in Macau.

Shares of Wynn Resorts closed at $61.80 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday but rose as much as 10% in after-hours trading following announcement of the stock purchase.

Wynn's stock price has been an extended up and down swing from much of 2015, having lost almost 60% of its value in the past 12 months.

Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon said Wynn was buying his company's stock "at near rock-bottom prices." He said insider deals have been "the cornerstone of the investment story for Wynn Resorts."

Much of the volatility has been blamed on Macau, which has seen 18 straight months of gaming revenue declines due to the sinking Chinese economy and a crackdown by the Beijing government on corruption. The anti-graft campaign has ensnared operators of high-end junket businesses who are tasked with bringing big spending customers to private gambling salons at Macau casinos.

Last month, the company announced the opening of its $4.1 billion Wynn Palace would be delayed until late June because of construction delays.

The company collects more than 65% of its quarterly revenue from its two Macau casinos.

Earlier this year, investment firm T. Rowe Price Group, once the largest single shareholder in Wynn Resorts, reduced its stake to 4.6%. The firm once owned 17 million shares, or 16.8% of the company.